There are eight bear species in all and a number of sub-species. Let us introduce you to them, including two bears on the edge of extinction.
North American Black Bear
Ursus americanus - a medium-sized bear found across North America.
Ursus arctos - the most successful of all bears, found across northern Eurasia and North America
Ursus maritimus - the largest of all bears still alive, found across the Arctic Circle
Andean (or Spectacled) Bear
Tremarctos ornatus - the last remaining short-faced bear and the only bear native to South America
Ailuropoda melanoleuca - with a diet of 99% bamboo this bear native to south central China is almost totally vegetarian
Melursus ursinus - an insectivorous bear native to the Indian subcontinent.
Helarctos malayanus - classified as Vulnerable this bear is found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and is also knows as the Honey Bear
Asiatic Black Bear
Ursus thibetanus - also known as the moon bear, this is a tree-climbing bear found in the Himalayas, India, Korea, China, Russia and islands off Japan and Taiwan.
Brown bear sub species:
Of the 15 known Brown bear sub-species, the Atlas bear, Mexican Grizzly and Bergman's bear are extinct, with the Himalayan Blue Bear practically gone from the wild, and less than 2 dozen Gobi bears left in existence.
Himalayan blue bear - possibly extinct in the wild
Ursus arctos pruinosus - a subspecies of brown bear, this bear is rarely sighted in the wild and may be extinct in the wild.
Gobi bear - the rarest bear in the world
Ursus arctos gobiensis - found in the Gobi desert or Mongolia, this subspecies of brown bear has only 30-40 adults remaining in the wild. If you'd like to get involved in saving this bear, you can learn more and donate at the Gobi Bear Project here